Difference between revisions of "The Verne Club"

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''Most of the information on this wiki page was taken from the [https://thefreebundle.com/verne-club/ official timeline], written by the creators.''  
 
''Most of the information on this wiki page was taken from the [https://thefreebundle.com/verne-club/ official timeline], written by the creators.''  
  
'''The Verne Club''' (also known as The Society of Extraordinary Readers ARG), is an ARG made by [https://cabrerabrothers.com/ The Cabrera Brothers Company] for their Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, [https://thefreebundle.com/ Free Bundle Magazine]. The ARG is centered around lore from several writers of the weird and fantastic genre, including H.P. Lovecraft, Jules Verne, and Robert E. Howard. The official home page for the ARG can be found [https://thefreebundle.com/verne-club/ here].  
+
'''The Verne Club''' (also known as The Society of Extraordinary Readers ARG), is an ARG made by [https://cabrerabrothers.com/ The Cabrera Brothers Company] for their Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, [https://thefreebundle.com/ Free Bundle Magazine]. The ARG is centered around lore from several writers of the weird and fantastic genre, including H.P. Lovecraft, Jules Verne, and Robert E. Howard, among others. The official home page for the ARG can be found [https://thefreebundle.com/verne-club/ here].  
  
Currently, the primary solving hub for this ARG is the Free Bundle Magazine community, who have a Discord server [https://mycabrera.club/discord here].  
+
Currently, the primary solving hub for this ARG is the [https://mycabrera.club/discord Free Bundle Magazine Discord Server], although clues get posted to the [https://www.reddit.com/r/arg/ Reddit ARG sub] from time to time.  
  
 
== Reddit ==
 
== Reddit ==
Discussions about the Verne Club began with a series of Reddit posts by a user named "Wepemnofret," later revealed to be a hacker named Bishop. The hacker posted mainly in the Occult and History subs on Reddit, as he tried to find information about a picture he allegedly encountered during a job in someone's server depicting a human sacrifice of some sort. Many people began speculating in the comments section about Bishop's story's veracity since there was no proof of the photo, other than Bishop's accounts and paranoid ramblings about being followed ever since he saw it.  
+
Discussions about the Verne Club began with a series of Reddit posts by a user named "Wepemnofret," later revealed to be a hacker named Bishop. The hacker posted mainly in the Occult and History subs on Reddit, as he tried to find information about a picture he allegedly encountered during a job in someone's server depicting a human sacrifice of some sort. Many people began speculating in the comments section about Bishop's story's veracity since there was no proof of the photo, other than Bishop's accounts and his paranoid ramblings about how he was being followed ever since he saw it.  
  
 
At one point, the hacker briefly mentioned a Reddit user told him about The Verne Club, a secret society of librarians, writers, and people in the publishing business who might help. Suggestions were made that the community may have an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) on its hands until some people in the comments area began providing actual proof that the Verne Club was real. After all the speculation, [https://reddit.com/r/Hannacrash /r/Hannacrash] (CrashOverride) decided to create a post on the [https://reddit.com/r/ARG /r/ARG] sub on Reddit to ask if The Verne Club was an actual Secret Society or an Alternate Reality Game.  
 
At one point, the hacker briefly mentioned a Reddit user told him about The Verne Club, a secret society of librarians, writers, and people in the publishing business who might help. Suggestions were made that the community may have an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) on its hands until some people in the comments area began providing actual proof that the Verne Club was real. After all the speculation, [https://reddit.com/r/Hannacrash /r/Hannacrash] (CrashOverride) decided to create a post on the [https://reddit.com/r/ARG /r/ARG] sub on Reddit to ask if The Verne Club was an actual Secret Society or an Alternate Reality Game.  
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[[File:Verne-club-website-home.jpg|thumb|right]]
 
[[File:Verne-club-website-home.jpg|thumb|right]]
The same day, someone discovers [https://www.reddit.com/r/OccultConspiracy/comments/on8zyv/the_verne_club/h5se3lv/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3 discovered] the web Verne Club's website:  
+
The same day, players [https://www.reddit.com/r/OccultConspiracy/comments/on8zyv/the_verne_club/h5se3lv/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3 discovered] the website of The Verne Club:  
  
 
<div style="margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:15px;">
 
<div style="margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:15px;">
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* '''William S. Burroughs:''' American writer, he was into the occult. He wrote Naked Lunch, Junky, The Wild Boys, Queer, and many others. He became interested in black magic after traveling to South America.
 
* '''William S. Burroughs:''' American writer, he was into the occult. He wrote Naked Lunch, Junky, The Wild Boys, Queer, and many others. He became interested in black magic after traveling to South America.
 
* '''Victor Hugo:''' French poet. During his political exile in the channel Islands, he dedicated much of his time attempting to communicate with spirits. He was friends with [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandre_Saint-Yves_d%27Alveydre Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre], a French occultist and author.
 
* '''Victor Hugo:''' French poet. During his political exile in the channel Islands, he dedicated much of his time attempting to communicate with spirits. He was friends with [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandre_Saint-Yves_d%27Alveydre Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre], a French occultist and author.
 +
 +
== Lovecraft's Grave ==
 +
On July 29, 2021, Reddit user [https://www.reddit.com/user/hannacrash/ HannaCrash] published a request for help on the [https://www.reddit.com/r/ARG ARG sub on Reddit] titled '''ARG points to Lovecraft's grave. Help needed'''. On her post, HannaCrash said someone on Discord found a message hidden in the image of Seshat of the Verne Club's about section.
 +
 +
[[File:WepemnofretKey.png|800px|center]]
 +
Seshat, the ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. She was seen as a scribe and record keeper, and her name means she who scrivens.
 +
 +
The message said:
 +
<div style="margin-left:5px;margin-right:5px;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:5px;">
 +
41.85421968333976,-71.38112496406848 Don't Bother The Family. 1900. Wear a Mask.
 +
</div>
 +
 +
The coordinates hidden in the image pointed to a place near the grave of famed horror writer and father of the Cthulhu Mythos Howard Philips Lovecraft, located in Swan Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island.
 +
 +
[[File:Lovecraft-grave.png]]
 +
 +
Some players speculated that the number 1900 had to do with the date of death of those buried there, while others argued that the cryptic message "wear a mask" was referencing a vaguely humanoid emissary of Hastur in the play "The King in Yellow" known as "The Pallid Mask."
 +
 +
On August 20, 2021, player [https://www.reddit.com/user/lemondecro_ss/ lemondecro_ss], also known as @lemonegg on the [https://mycabrera.club/discord official Discord Server] posted the following on the [https://www.reddit.com/r/ARG/comments/p7wa8g/found_this_near_lovecrafts_grave_the_verne_club/ ARG sub on Reddit]:
 +
 +
[[File:LovecraftGrave.jpg|thumb|right|Lemonegg/lemondecro_ss solving the Lovecraft drop-off puzzle on the official Discord Server.]]
 +
 +
<div style="margin-left:5px;margin-right:5px;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:5px;">
 +
I was pretty sure I had looked everywhere until I went back to the timeline on that page and read the clue again:
 +
 +
>41.85421968333976,-71.38112496406848 Don't Bother The Family. 1900. Wear a Mask.
 +
 +
The lat/long points to Lovecraft's grave or the area around it. That part sounds ok.
 +
"Don't Bother The Family" made no sense until I remembered the Phillips family monument.
 +
So go there, but leave the family alone? Maybe.
 +
But what about the "1900" and the "Wear a Mask"?
 +
 +
Some people said the "Wear a Mask" bit had to do with The King in Yellow image posted by "Bishop" a few days ago (Bishop, aka Wepemnofret). Others said it had to do with Pallid Mask. Another person said it was meant to be taken in a literal sense, as in "if you go, wear your mask!" I decided that's what it meant too. Wear a mask because of Covid.
 +
 +
The "1900" was the hardest part IMO. Turns out it was the time of the day. 1900 = 19:00 hours. Doh.
 +
Since I didn't want to stand like an idiot all day next to someone's grave, I used this website to calculate where the shadow of the Phillip family would be pointing at around 19:00.
 +
 +
I went there today at 4 because no way I'm walking around dead people with a flashlight by myself and found an envelope taped up a tree. After almost breaking my hip, this is what I got.
 +
</div>
 +
 +
=== Package 1 ===
 +
The package found by player lemondecro_ss/lemonegg near Lovecraft's grave in Swan Point Cemetery, Rhode Island, Providence, contained the following items:
 +
* One microcassette tape,
 +
* One medallion with a Mayan calendar carved on the front and an inscription carved on its back reading "Les Premiers Navir, es de la Marine Mexicaine K821",
 +
* One business card belonging to Shane C. Mitchell, Freelance Journalist with the text "632 where is he?" written on the back,
 +
* One three page letter addressed to "Nathaniel" and signed by "Johann" (the second page is missing the bottom portion)
 +
* One pink page reading "1050x1500", "I2V1", and "no he has disappeared",
 +
* One post-it note reading "dGlueQ==",
 +
* One Mexican restaurant flyer (Casita Del Taco) reading "A306089" on the front,
 +
* Seven library catalog cards stapled on two pages.
 +
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
|- style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#cbcefb;"
 +
! style="color:#333333;" | Photo
 +
! style="background-color:#ecf4ff;" | Description
 +
|-
 +
| [[File:LovecraftGrave-dropoff..jpg]]
 +
| Photo: Shane C. Mitchell's business card, Johann's letter, the pink page with the post-it note, the microcassette tape, and the medallion. [https://ibb.co/y4hX2Nv A more high-quality version of this photo is available here].
 +
|-
 +
| [[File:CasitaDelTaco.jpg]]
 +
| Photo: Mexican restaurant flyer
 +
|-
 +
| [[File:BookCards1.jpg|800px]]
 +
| Photo: Library catalog cards (1)
 +
|-
 +
| [[File:BookCards2.jpg|800px]]
 +
| Photo: Library catalog cards (2)
 +
|-
 +
| [[File:MayanCalendarFront.jpg|800px]]
 +
| Photo: Medallion front (Mayan Calendar)
 +
|-
 +
| [[File:MayanCalendarBack.jpg|800px]]
 +
| Photo: Medallion back (engraving reads "Les Premiers Navir, es de la Marine Mexicaine K821")
 +
|-
 +
| [[File:ShaneCardFront.jpg|800px]]
 +
| Photo: Business Card front
 +
|-
 +
| [[File:ShaneCardBack.jpg|800px]]
 +
| Photo: Business Card back (text reads "632 where is he?")
 +
|}
 +
 +
=== Too many horrors ===
 +
Players discovered that, when superimposing the scan of the pink page and a story of Free Bundle Magazine, a hidden message would appeared. They also noticed that the issue features a short story by H.P. Lovecraft titled "From the Dark. The last line reads "now he has disappeared," which is the exact text found on the pink page. Also, the syringe the man on the story cover is holding perfectly with the pink page's one, which helped them solve the puzzle.
 +
 +
[[File:FreeBundleMagazinePuzzle.jpg]]
 +
 +
When lined up, the text under the black boxes reads: 
 +
 +
<div style="margin-left:5px;margin-right:5px;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:5px;">
 +
too many eyes and horrors
 +
</div>
 +
 +
Players deduced the phrase was meant to be a TinyURL address, since '''the post-it note was encoded in base64''', and when decoded read ''"TINY"'''. The url, [https://tinyurl.com/toomanyeyesandhorrors https://tinyurl.com/toomanyeyesandhorrors] took players to a '''PrivatePasteBin.'''
 +
 +
Since so far no one has been able to discover the password that unlocks the PrivatePasteBin, '''this puzzle remains unsolved'''.
 +
 +
=== Frederik Walter Johann ===
 +
==== Microcassette Tape ====
 +
The [[https://voca.ro/16qTKbhyARmC Microcassette tape]] was originally uploaded to "SndUp" but for some reason is not playing. Transcription by @snail:
 +
<div style="margin-left:5px;margin-right:5px;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:5px;">
 +
{Unknown Female Voice}
 +
 +
''This tape contains the last recorded words of Frederik Walter Johann, Keeper 261, from the Grand Lodge of Sacramento, United States. It's taken from a microcassette tape with heavy water damage found 6 years after his disappearance by cave divers Paul Stanley Williams and Miguel Roman Alexander on August 8, 1984 on Flathead Lake, Montana. At the time of his disappearance, Keeper 261 was part of an ongoing investigation concerning the esoteric cult of the Jodorowskys.''
 +
 +
''The first segment of the tape was probably recorded by Keeper 261 while he was in Saint-Elie, French Guiana. There is a 17 minutes gap of irretrievable audio between the first and second segment. In the second segment Keeper 261 discussed a personal matter regarding his newlywed wife 26-year-old Naomi Andrea Rommel while he was investigating the cult in Mumbai City, Mumbai. The third segment comes after a 6-minute gap and was presumably recorded in an unknown cave of the Montana area where Keeper 261 was last seen. The entire investigation, including the transcript of this audio, is filed under case "62 29 af-4" please refer your Grand Lodge archivist to request access.''
 +
 +
'''{Keeper 261, Segment 1, Saint-Elie, French Guiana}'''
 +
 +
''(Rain)''
 +
 +
    Tough rain, the kind you don't go out into unless you have to.
 +
    Creeps love the dark, they always hunt at night, when it's cold, when it's silent.
 +
    But there's no wind tonight, and the bastards can't smell us through the rain.
 +
    We might have a chance after all.
 +
 +
 +
'''{Keeper 261, Segment 2, Mumbai City, Mumbai}'''
 +
 +
''(City noise)''
 +
 +
    When Naomi got pregnant, I made her a promise.
 +
    I told her I'll take care of her and the baby no matter what.
 +
    I told her we're going to be a family, you know, that everything was going to be ok.
 +
    She said yes. Even with all those people saying we were crazy, that I was too old to be a husband, to be a father, that we'll only end up hurting ourselves and the child... she said yes.
 +
    So now you know why I do what I do. I don't even care what's in there, whatever it is, it can't be worse than not knowing where they are.
 +
    Somewhere in heaven, god is having a good laugh, and the jokes on me.
 +
 +
 +
'''{Keeper 261, Segment 3, Unknown Cave, Montana}'''
 +
 +
''(wading through water)''
 +
 +
''(singing)''
 +
 +
''(baby crying)''
 +
 +
''(man saying incantation)''
 +
 +
    Jesus, they are everywhere
 +
 +
''(chanting)''
 +
</div>
 +
 +
==== Letter ====
 +
Transcription of Johann's letter by '''@Monade''':
 +
 +
<div style="margin-left:5px;margin-right:5px;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:5px;">
 +
Nathaniel,
 +
 +
I arrived in Mumbai yesterday morning, and I can already tell this is going to be another dead end. Someone at the embassy put me in contact with a translator, a man named Ananda Sardar, but he never showed up, and I think I know why: Police were closely watching my hotel this afternoon when I got back from the library. A woman kindly agreed to help me out by taking me to the salt pans and talk with the workers who found the body for me, but by the time I got back to the hotel, the offer was already off the table. The clerk at the front desk handed me the note as soon as I walked through the door; she had left a message excusing herself from not being able to help me.
 +
 +
Whoever is covering this up had intimidated her. We have come across coverups before, but this here is radically different from anything we have seen. I doubt the Jorodowskys have the muscle to pull something like this themselves, so either someone else is involved, or there is a new cult we haven't heard about.
 +
 +
There is a sort of grill ex-pats go get wasted not far from where I'm staying. There ought to be rumors about what happened here -- news of mutilation as gruesome as the one that happened here doesn't just disappear. As for when I will get back home, it really depends on whether there is new information about Naomi and Jeremy or not. This has become a personal matter for me, and I intend to see it through to the end -- with or without the Society's help.
 +
 +
Sincerely
 +
Johan
 +
</div>
 +
 +
The full content of the tape can be listened to here, while the transcript has been made available thanks to players of the Discord Server.
  
 
== Bishop's Video Messages ==
 
== Bishop's Video Messages ==
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</div>
 
</div>
  
In some of his tweets, Bishop boasted about successfully having hacked The Verne Club's website. Specifically, he said to have found thousands of "uid" (Unique Identifiers) of encrypted data he could not retrieve before the server "kicked him out." In his tweets, Bishop also mentioned that he would no longer attempt to gain access to the server's "keepers area," as remaining in one place for too long was _increasingly dangerous for him in his current situation_. While most Bishop tweets contained videos messages encoded in Base64 with directions to those playing the ARG, others were in plain English and included pictures of the so-called "creeps" that were following him anywhere he went, even abroad.
+
In some of his tweets, Bishop boasted about successfully having hacked The Verne Club's website. Specifically, he said to have found thousands of "uid" (Unique Identifiers) of encrypted data he could not retrieve before the server "kicked him out." In his tweets, Bishop also mentioned that he would no longer attempt to gain access to the server's "keepers area," as remaining in one place for too long was ''increasingly dangerous for him in his current situation''. While most Bishop tweets contained videos messages encoded in Base64 with directions to those playing the ARG, others were in plain English and included pictures of the so-called "creeps" that were following him anywhere he went, even abroad.
  
When asked for more information about Shane C. Mitchell, Bishop answered with a video message:
+
The initial problem with Bishop video messages was that the first two [https://twitter.com/Wepemnofret/status/1416998281369071616 were encoded in uppercase] (Base64 needs a combination of upper/lower case to work.) A player from the Alice & Smith Discord server contacted him about the videos. Bishop replied that he had intentionally written his messages that way since he was trying to reach out to a friend who knew which letter should be lowercase or uppercase. Later that same day, he reposted the video in standard base64, saying, "I will need all the help I can get, though."
  
 
<div style="margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:15px;">
 
<div style="margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:15px;">
SGUgd2FzIHN1cHBvc2VkIHRvIG1lZXQgdXAgd2l0aCBKb3JnZSB0byBtYWtlIHRoZSBleGNoYW5nZSBpbiBWYWxlbmNpYSwgYnV0IFphaW4ga2VwdCBnZXR0aW5nIGluIHRoZSB3YXkgYnkgYmlkZGluZyBoaWdoZXIgdGhyb3VnaCBoaXMgcGVvcGxlLiBJIGhhZCBubyBjaG9pY2UgYnV0IHRvIGdvIGJhY2sgdG8gdGhlIFN0YXRlcyB0byBrZWVwIFphaW4gZnJvbSBnZXR0aW5nIGluIHRoZSB3YXkuIEkgbWVzc2VkIHVwIGhpcyBiYW5rIGFjY291bnRzIHRoZXJlIGFuZCBib3VnaHQgdXMgc29tZSB0aW1lLCBidXQgbm93IEpvcmdlIHRlbGxzIG1lIFNoYW5lIG5ldmVyIGFycml2ZWQgYXQgdGhlIG1lZXRpbmcsIHNvIEkgY2FtZSBiYWNrIHRvIFNwYWluLg==
+
QUdSRUVEIFRPIEhFTFAgVEhFIFNQQU5JQVJEIEdFVFRJTkcgU09NRVRISU5HIEJBQ0sgRlJPTSBUSEUgVkVSTkUgQ0xVQi4gSEUgU0FZUyBUSEVZIEhBVkUgQSBCT09LIFRIQVQgVEFMS1MgQUJPVVQgVEhPU0UgREFNTiBDUkVFUFMgVEhBVCBLRUVQIENPTUlORyBBRlRFUiBNRS4gTkVFRCBTT01FIFdBWSBPRiBTVE9QUElORyBUSEVNLiBDQU4nVCBSVU4gRk9SRVZFUi4gSEVBRElORyBUTyBOQVJWQSwgVEhFTiBGSU5MQU5ELg==
 
</div>
 
</div>
  
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<div style="margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:15px;">
 
<div style="margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:15px;">
He was supposed to meet up with Jorge to make the exchange in Valencia, but Zain kept getting in the way by bidding higher through his people. I had no choice but to go back to the States to keep Zain from getting in the way. I messed up his bank accounts there and bought us some time, but now Jorge tells me Shane never arrived at the meeting, so I came back to Spain.
+
"AGREED TO HELP THE SPANIARD GETTING SOMETHING BACK FROM THE VERNE CLUB. HE SAYS THEY HAVE A BOOK THAT TALKS ABOUT THOSE DAMN CREEPS THAT KEEP COMING AFTER ME. NEED SOME WAY OF STOPPING THEM. CAN'T RUN FOREVER. HEADING TO NARVA, THEN FINLAND."
 
</div>
 
</div>
  
==== The King in Yellow ====
+
=== The King in Yellow ===
 +
[[File:Kinginyellowphoto.jpg|thumb|right|Photo found by decoding the morse code tweeted by "Bishop"]]
 
On August 14, 2021, Bishop twitted the following: ''"Here's your damn proof"'', along with a [https://twitter.com/Wepemnofret/status/1426697235375566855 video message] encrypted in morse code.
 
On August 14, 2021, Bishop twitted the following: ''"Here's your damn proof"'', along with a [https://twitter.com/Wepemnofret/status/1426697235375566855 video message] encrypted in morse code.
  
Line 156: Line 317:
 
</div>
 
</div>
  
The decoded message yielded '''TINYURL/KINGPROOF''', leading players [https://tinyurl.com/kingproof to a photo] of a page from an unknown copy of [https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_in_Yellow The King in Yellow]. When players examined the photo's EXIF data, they found it read ``Artist: Jorge Munoz``. Players deduced the name belonged to the ex-historian from Spain Bishop spoke about on his posts.  
+
The decoded message yielded '''TINYURL/KINGPROOF''', leading players [https://tinyurl.com/kingproof to a photo] of a page from an unknown copy of [https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_in_Yellow The King in Yellow]. The woodblock print on the page Bishop shared showed a scribe holding up a quill in one hand while resting the severed head of a woman/child in his lap with the other. Next to the man, there is an unknown entity wearing a crown. The entity, which many players identified as being the actual "King in Yellow," emerges from a cloud of smoke and flames, as it presumably dictates notes to the scribe. Additionally, the face of the crowned entity, and the floating sign in the back, were covered with post-it notes, probably to avoid the book's infamous curse, which is said to drive readers to insanity.
 +
 
 +
<div style="margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:20px;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;padding-top:5px;padding-bottom:5px;background-color: #eaecf0; border:4px #2F4F4F;border-radius:15px;">
 +
'''Excerpt from [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_in_Yellow Wikipedia]'''
 +
 
 +
The King in Yellow is a book of short stories by the American writer Robert W. Chambers, first published by F. Tennyson Neely in 1895. The book is named after a play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories. The first half of the book features highly esteemed horror stories, and the book has been described by critics as a classic in the field of the supernatural.
 +
 
 +
There are ten stories, the first four of which ("The Repairer of Reputations", "The Mask", "In the Court of the Dragon", and "The Yellow Sign") mention The King in Yellow, a forbidden play which induces despair or madness in those who read it. The British first edition was published by Chatto & Windus in 1895 (316 pages).
 +
</div>
  
[[File:Kinginyellowphoto.jpg|thumb|left|Photo found by decoding the morse code tweeted by "Bishop"]]
+
When players examined the photo's EXIF data, they found it read "Artist: Jorge Munoz". Players deduced Jorge Munoz (probably a misspelling of "Muñoz") is the person who took the photo of the book (the ex-historian from Spain that Bishop spoke about in some of his Reddit posts.)
  
Players also noted that "The King in Yellow" could also be referencing [https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastur Hastur] (The Unspeakable One, also known as "Him Who Is Not to be Named", "Assatur", "Xastur", "H'aaztre", or "Kaiwan"), an entity from the "Cthulhu Mythos" of American writer H.P. Lovecraft.
+
Players also noted that "The King in Yellow" could be referencing [https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastur Hastur] (The Unspeakable One, also known as "Him Who Is Not to be Named," "Assatur," "Xastur," "H'aaztre," or "Kaiwan"). Hastur is an entity from the "Cthulhu Mythos" of American writer H.P. Lovecraft '''since he appears mentioned as a possible member of the Society of Extraordinary Readers'''.

Latest revision as of 00:23, 23 September 2021

The Verne Club
Active since 2021-07-13
VerneClubLogo.jpg
Uncovering the mystery of the Verne Club.
Type Official
Creator The Cabrera Brothers Company
Discovered 2021-07-13

Main Page > List of Investigations > The Verne Club

Most of the information on this wiki page was taken from the official timeline, written by the creators.

The Verne Club (also known as The Society of Extraordinary Readers ARG), is an ARG made by The Cabrera Brothers Company for their Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, Free Bundle Magazine. The ARG is centered around lore from several writers of the weird and fantastic genre, including H.P. Lovecraft, Jules Verne, and Robert E. Howard, among others. The official home page for the ARG can be found here.

Currently, the primary solving hub for this ARG is the Free Bundle Magazine Discord Server, although clues get posted to the Reddit ARG sub from time to time.

Reddit

Discussions about the Verne Club began with a series of Reddit posts by a user named "Wepemnofret," later revealed to be a hacker named Bishop. The hacker posted mainly in the Occult and History subs on Reddit, as he tried to find information about a picture he allegedly encountered during a job in someone's server depicting a human sacrifice of some sort. Many people began speculating in the comments section about Bishop's story's veracity since there was no proof of the photo, other than Bishop's accounts and his paranoid ramblings about how he was being followed ever since he saw it.

At one point, the hacker briefly mentioned a Reddit user told him about The Verne Club, a secret society of librarians, writers, and people in the publishing business who might help. Suggestions were made that the community may have an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) on its hands until some people in the comments area began providing actual proof that the Verne Club was real. After all the speculation, /r/Hannacrash (CrashOverride) decided to create a post on the /r/ARG sub on Reddit to ask if The Verne Club was an actual Secret Society or an Alternate Reality Game.

Community members started combing for clues on all the subs Bishop had posted in and concluded that The Verne Club was an ARG by Free Bundle Magazine. Once players confirmed it was a game, the magazine launched its official website and agreed to let HannCrash create and maintain the official Discord server.

Human Sacrifice Photo

On July 13th, 2021, wepemnofret shared a post to the "Paranormal Encounters" and the "Supernatural Encounters" subs on Reddit claiming to have come across a photograph depicting a ritualistic human sacrifice dating from 50 years ago during a "system intrusion."

Anyone came across something like this?

I know posting here might be a stretch, but... what the hell. My line of work involves breaking into different types of systems. I don't want to get too much into that. Here's the thing: I recently found this weird photo of what can only be described as an odd satanic ceremonial of some sort, with torches and all that crap. Naked people eating at a nice formal dining table inside a large cave. I will try to describe all this from memory since I can't access the photo for the time being.

The cave was pretty large. I don't know a thing about caves, so to me, it was just a cave. A man and a woman are at the center of the picture. The man is your average Joe, but the woman was not all that bad. Around them is a group of six women, all naked too. There are shadows from people not in the photograph, so there might be more crazy nude women behind the camera too. Some of these women were in their sixties, others in their twenties and forties. Some were fat, others were slim, but they were all evidentially not in their best shape. I only mention this because if I simply say "naked people," one tends to picture instagram models, which was not the case here. They were all regular people. Besides dancing around the dining table, the women were doing "things" to each other. I will leave that to your imagination.

There were like a dozen people or so, all wearing black robes and playing funny looking musical instruments in the background. Some had goat masks, others were just looking down, so their faces didn't show. Two were wearing a jester costume. Now, that was weird, but here's the really screwed up part. There was this thing sitting? crouching? next to the central two figures of the photo (the man and the woman). Picture a 200-pound slug the size of a man. That's what it looked like. Maybe it was a statue. Maybe it was a costume. I don't know what it was. It was this thing, this freaking ugly giant slug, sitting there with them.

The photo was black and white, not the best quality but, checked authentic. It dated from around 30, 40 years ago or so, according to a guy I know. He's no expert, but he's a camera freak and the only other person who had a peek at the photo while I had it. Next to the dining table, there was a stone altar. Same height as the table, maybe a little taller. There was something on the altar, but I don't want to even hint at what was there. I've been doing this for a long time, seen many things people pay good money to keep hidden and trust me: I've seen weird, I know weird. But this? It gave me the creeps.

If someone here knows about what type of ceremony this might be, DM me.

The next day, Bishop posted on the History sub on Reddit, asking for information about "magic and rituals in pre-Columbian civilizations in South America."

Tribal men posing with their costumes

Magic and rituals in Pre-Columbian civilizations in South America

Disclosure: I'm not a historian. I'm not even an aficionado. So keep in mind that I'm as layman as they come with this stuff.

What books or papers would you guys recommend when it comes to South American pre-Columbian civilizations and their relation with ritualistic magic? There is plenty about Mayans, but I'm having trouble finding anything about the rituals of the South American cultures.

My interest comes after seeing a photograph of a magic ritual being performed. Two participants wore a costume very similar to what the "onas" (aka the Selk'nam, or the Onawo) used for their initiation rituals.

Again, I am not a history buff. I was only able to find the similarity after googling "jester costume" for a few hours. I have already tried Amazon and there's not much about the Onas being translated to our language.

The Spaniard

Bishop updated his post on July 16, 2021, mentioning he planned to meet a retired Spanish historian. The man had contacted him through a private message, claiming to have a book with an illustration depicting a ritual similar to the one he mentioned in his posts.

Update:

Confirmed, the photo I came across had little to do with the Selk'nam people. Despite using a similar "jester" there's nothing connecting it with what I saw. I've met with the book owner I mentioned, the one who contacted me thanks to this post. He showed me some scans of the pages that reference a "magic" ritual similar to the one I saw, cannibalism and all. Interesting guy, this Spaniard, he's a retired historian. Actually, you guys are all very interesting people. I've no idea why school teachers don't do a better job at teaching this stuff because I can really tell it is something anyone can be drawn into. Even tech guys like me. The woodblock drawing and the description on his book reference a cannibalistic ritual a french occultist described in one of his journals. He didn't allow me to take the scans back with me to the hotel, though.

On July 19, Bishop makes a post on the OccultConspiracy sub on Reddit, searching information about the lost journals of Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, a french writer and occultist. In the post, he mentions he is **traveling abroad** (presumably, to meet the Spanish historian.)

Need help asap: Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre lost journals

Did anyone ever hear about a manuscript called The Lost journals of Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre? Someone recently mentioned it to me as a sort of "very exclusive collector's item." Is it mentioned or documented somewhere in the french occultist literature? I've done a little digging, and the guy supposedly came up with the whole hollow earth theory and a bunch of other occultists and esoteric things, but I'm traveling abroad right now, and my Internet is crap.

The Verne Club

Only days after posting about Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, Bishop asks information about "The Verne Club" on the OccultConspiracy sub on Reddit.

The Verne Club?

A year and a half ago, I screwed up and run into something I shouldn't. I began asking questions around to see if there might be someone who knew something about it and was told about a "social club" where a bunch of librarians, scholars, and writers get together to sweep things under the rug (mostly esoteric books). Like everyone with an Internet connection, I know about freemasons, the Illuminati, the skull and bones, the Rosicrucians, etc. But until recently, I had never heard about the Verne club. I did a little google Dorking, and nothing came up. Since there are as many cults as crazy people in this world, I assumed it was either something small or another Internet rumor. A few hours ago, someone mentioned the Verne Club to me, yet again. This time it was a person I met through another subreddit. I've done some more digging on it, and it looks like they are heavily paper-based. I breathe digital, and since you guys know your books...

Verne-club-website-home.jpg

The same day, players discovered the website of The Verne Club:

https://theverne.club

Seems like this is what you're looking for. Their motto "Quidam libri aperuit ne sit impune lacessit" means "Some books may not be opened with impunity." Among the books the Society holds in its Index Librorum Prohibitorum are authentic copies of the Necronomicon, The handwritten manuscript of The Codex Gigas, with its two-part addendum, a complete translation of The Voynich Manuscript, and the unabridged version of La Poule Noire (The Black Pullet).

The website mentions that all books the society owns are "kept under strict surveillance" and that their mission is "not to suppress or withhold knowledge, but to contain it from disruptive individuals."

Verne-club-website-access.jpg

Going to the address https://theverne.club/keepers reveals a secret section accessible only to members of the secret society, or "keepers," as they call themselves. The login prompt can only be found when clicking on a hidden link at the bottom of the website's homepage.

During the beginning stages of the ARG, when speculations of whether The Verne Club actually existed or not were still happening, players discovered that the following list of Reddit users might have been in-game characters created to promote the game:

  • Randolphfish posted on the Occult sub on Reddit claiming his ex-roomate was a member of The Verne Club. He hasn’t posted or commented on Reddit since July 21, 2021.
  • Franciswhiskeyjar made one of his first comments on Reddit claiming that “My mother said her grandfather's brother (great-uncle?) was a member of the Verne Society.” And had “a booklet in a drawer somewhere with their silly handshakes.” He made a separate Reddit post on July 20, 2021 showing the following book page. He has not posted or commented on Reddit since July 20, 2021.
  • Momento358mori presented himself as a Freemason and said that The Verne Club might be an old Swedish Rite group of Masons.

Although the identity of some of these Reddit users remains in question, others were confirmed to be actual ARG players and not in-game characters (most notably, r/lemondecro_ss,who discovered the drop-off near Lovecraft's grave and is a relatively active member of the ARG's Discord server.

Writers and the Occult

A new Reddit post by Bishop titled [TIL] Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, french occultist and author, and Victor Hugo (THE Victor Hugo) might have been pals in a secret society sheds light on The Verne Club.

The following writers are mentioned in the thread:

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: the father of Sherlock Holmes wrote _The History of Spiritualism (1924)_, maintained fairies were real. He was also known during his last days for frequent spiritist circles.
  • H.P. Lovecraft: his marriage to Aleister Crowley's ex-girlfriend, Sonia Greene, and his work association with Harry Houdini (a known Freemason)
  • Arthur Llewellyn Jones: Welsh author and mystic. He was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
  • Antonin Artaud: Dramatist, theatre director, and film actor. He was into the occult, alchemy, and cabala.
  • William S. Burroughs: American writer, he was into the occult. He wrote Naked Lunch, Junky, The Wild Boys, Queer, and many others. He became interested in black magic after traveling to South America.
  • Victor Hugo: French poet. During his political exile in the channel Islands, he dedicated much of his time attempting to communicate with spirits. He was friends with Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, a French occultist and author.

Lovecraft's Grave

On July 29, 2021, Reddit user HannaCrash published a request for help on the ARG sub on Reddit titled ARG points to Lovecraft's grave. Help needed. On her post, HannaCrash said someone on Discord found a message hidden in the image of Seshat of the Verne Club's about section.

WepemnofretKey.png

Seshat, the ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. She was seen as a scribe and record keeper, and her name means she who scrivens.

The message said:

41.85421968333976,-71.38112496406848 Don't Bother The Family. 1900. Wear a Mask.

The coordinates hidden in the image pointed to a place near the grave of famed horror writer and father of the Cthulhu Mythos Howard Philips Lovecraft, located in Swan Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island.

Lovecraft-grave.png

Some players speculated that the number 1900 had to do with the date of death of those buried there, while others argued that the cryptic message "wear a mask" was referencing a vaguely humanoid emissary of Hastur in the play "The King in Yellow" known as "The Pallid Mask."

On August 20, 2021, player lemondecro_ss, also known as @lemonegg on the official Discord Server posted the following on the ARG sub on Reddit:

Lemonegg/lemondecro_ss solving the Lovecraft drop-off puzzle on the official Discord Server.

I was pretty sure I had looked everywhere until I went back to the timeline on that page and read the clue again:

>41.85421968333976,-71.38112496406848 Don't Bother The Family. 1900. Wear a Mask.

The lat/long points to Lovecraft's grave or the area around it. That part sounds ok. "Don't Bother The Family" made no sense until I remembered the Phillips family monument. So go there, but leave the family alone? Maybe. But what about the "1900" and the "Wear a Mask"?

Some people said the "Wear a Mask" bit had to do with The King in Yellow image posted by "Bishop" a few days ago (Bishop, aka Wepemnofret). Others said it had to do with Pallid Mask. Another person said it was meant to be taken in a literal sense, as in "if you go, wear your mask!" I decided that's what it meant too. Wear a mask because of Covid.

The "1900" was the hardest part IMO. Turns out it was the time of the day. 1900 = 19:00 hours. Doh. Since I didn't want to stand like an idiot all day next to someone's grave, I used this website to calculate where the shadow of the Phillip family would be pointing at around 19:00.

I went there today at 4 because no way I'm walking around dead people with a flashlight by myself and found an envelope taped up a tree. After almost breaking my hip, this is what I got.

Package 1

The package found by player lemondecro_ss/lemonegg near Lovecraft's grave in Swan Point Cemetery, Rhode Island, Providence, contained the following items:

  • One microcassette tape,
  • One medallion with a Mayan calendar carved on the front and an inscription carved on its back reading "Les Premiers Navir, es de la Marine Mexicaine K821",
  • One business card belonging to Shane C. Mitchell, Freelance Journalist with the text "632 where is he?" written on the back,
  • One three page letter addressed to "Nathaniel" and signed by "Johann" (the second page is missing the bottom portion)
  • One pink page reading "1050x1500", "I2V1", and "no he has disappeared",
  • One post-it note reading "dGlueQ==",
  • One Mexican restaurant flyer (Casita Del Taco) reading "A306089" on the front,
  • Seven library catalog cards stapled on two pages.
Photo Description
LovecraftGrave-dropoff..jpg Photo: Shane C. Mitchell's business card, Johann's letter, the pink page with the post-it note, the microcassette tape, and the medallion. A more high-quality version of this photo is available here.
CasitaDelTaco.jpg Photo: Mexican restaurant flyer
BookCards1.jpg Photo: Library catalog cards (1)
BookCards2.jpg Photo: Library catalog cards (2)
MayanCalendarFront.jpg Photo: Medallion front (Mayan Calendar)
MayanCalendarBack.jpg Photo: Medallion back (engraving reads "Les Premiers Navir, es de la Marine Mexicaine K821")
ShaneCardFront.jpg Photo: Business Card front
ShaneCardBack.jpg Photo: Business Card back (text reads "632 where is he?")

Too many horrors

Players discovered that, when superimposing the scan of the pink page and a story of Free Bundle Magazine, a hidden message would appeared. They also noticed that the issue features a short story by H.P. Lovecraft titled "From the Dark. The last line reads "now he has disappeared," which is the exact text found on the pink page. Also, the syringe the man on the story cover is holding perfectly with the pink page's one, which helped them solve the puzzle.

FreeBundleMagazinePuzzle.jpg

When lined up, the text under the black boxes reads:

too many eyes and horrors

Players deduced the phrase was meant to be a TinyURL address, since the post-it note was encoded in base64', and when decoded read "TINY". The url, https://tinyurl.com/toomanyeyesandhorrors took players to a PrivatePasteBin.

Since so far no one has been able to discover the password that unlocks the PrivatePasteBin, this puzzle remains unsolved.

Frederik Walter Johann

Microcassette Tape

The [Microcassette tape] was originally uploaded to "SndUp" but for some reason is not playing. Transcription by @snail:

{Unknown Female Voice}

This tape contains the last recorded words of Frederik Walter Johann, Keeper 261, from the Grand Lodge of Sacramento, United States. It's taken from a microcassette tape with heavy water damage found 6 years after his disappearance by cave divers Paul Stanley Williams and Miguel Roman Alexander on August 8, 1984 on Flathead Lake, Montana. At the time of his disappearance, Keeper 261 was part of an ongoing investigation concerning the esoteric cult of the Jodorowskys.

The first segment of the tape was probably recorded by Keeper 261 while he was in Saint-Elie, French Guiana. There is a 17 minutes gap of irretrievable audio between the first and second segment. In the second segment Keeper 261 discussed a personal matter regarding his newlywed wife 26-year-old Naomi Andrea Rommel while he was investigating the cult in Mumbai City, Mumbai. The third segment comes after a 6-minute gap and was presumably recorded in an unknown cave of the Montana area where Keeper 261 was last seen. The entire investigation, including the transcript of this audio, is filed under case "62 29 af-4" please refer your Grand Lodge archivist to request access.

{Keeper 261, Segment 1, Saint-Elie, French Guiana}

(Rain)

   Tough rain, the kind you don't go out into unless you have to. 
   Creeps love the dark, they always hunt at night, when it's cold, when it's silent. 
   But there's no wind tonight, and the bastards can't smell us through the rain. 
   We might have a chance after all.


{Keeper 261, Segment 2, Mumbai City, Mumbai}

(City noise)

   When Naomi got pregnant, I made her a promise. 
   I told her I'll take care of her and the baby no matter what. 
   I told her we're going to be a family, you know, that everything was going to be ok. 
   She said yes. Even with all those people saying we were crazy, that I was too old to be a husband, to be a father, that we'll only end up hurting ourselves and the child... she said yes. 
   So now you know why I do what I do. I don't even care what's in there, whatever it is, it can't be worse than not knowing where they are. 
   Somewhere in heaven, god is having a good laugh, and the jokes on me.


{Keeper 261, Segment 3, Unknown Cave, Montana}

(wading through water)

(singing)

(baby crying)

(man saying incantation)

   Jesus, they are everywhere

(chanting)

Letter

Transcription of Johann's letter by @Monade:

Nathaniel,

I arrived in Mumbai yesterday morning, and I can already tell this is going to be another dead end. Someone at the embassy put me in contact with a translator, a man named Ananda Sardar, but he never showed up, and I think I know why: Police were closely watching my hotel this afternoon when I got back from the library. A woman kindly agreed to help me out by taking me to the salt pans and talk with the workers who found the body for me, but by the time I got back to the hotel, the offer was already off the table. The clerk at the front desk handed me the note as soon as I walked through the door; she had left a message excusing herself from not being able to help me.

Whoever is covering this up had intimidated her. We have come across coverups before, but this here is radically different from anything we have seen. I doubt the Jorodowskys have the muscle to pull something like this themselves, so either someone else is involved, or there is a new cult we haven't heard about.

There is a sort of grill ex-pats go get wasted not far from where I'm staying. There ought to be rumors about what happened here -- news of mutilation as gruesome as the one that happened here doesn't just disappear. As for when I will get back home, it really depends on whether there is new information about Naomi and Jeremy or not. This has become a personal matter for me, and I intend to see it through to the end -- with or without the Society's help.

Sincerely Johan

The full content of the tape can be listened to here, while the transcript has been made available thanks to players of the Discord Server.

Bishop's Video Messages

Bishop.jpg

On July 15, 2021, Bishop began posting on Twitter under an account with the same username as his Reddit profile: @wepemnofret. The account, which also used the same avatar as the Reddit account, was created in May 2021 and is believed to have been stolen from an unknown member of the Society of Extraordinary Readers by Bishop, since the l33tscript message in the account profile reads:

k33p325 5h0u1d h123 4 wh173 h47 w17h 411 7h47 d0u9h 7h3y 937 f20m 7h312 m3m8325h1p5.

Which players translated to:

Keepers should hire a white hat with all that dough they get from their memberships.

In some of his tweets, Bishop boasted about successfully having hacked The Verne Club's website. Specifically, he said to have found thousands of "uid" (Unique Identifiers) of encrypted data he could not retrieve before the server "kicked him out." In his tweets, Bishop also mentioned that he would no longer attempt to gain access to the server's "keepers area," as remaining in one place for too long was increasingly dangerous for him in his current situation. While most Bishop tweets contained videos messages encoded in Base64 with directions to those playing the ARG, others were in plain English and included pictures of the so-called "creeps" that were following him anywhere he went, even abroad.

The initial problem with Bishop video messages was that the first two were encoded in uppercase (Base64 needs a combination of upper/lower case to work.) A player from the Alice & Smith Discord server contacted him about the videos. Bishop replied that he had intentionally written his messages that way since he was trying to reach out to a friend who knew which letter should be lowercase or uppercase. Later that same day, he reposted the video in standard base64, saying, "I will need all the help I can get, though."

QUdSRUVEIFRPIEhFTFAgVEhFIFNQQU5JQVJEIEdFVFRJTkcgU09NRVRISU5HIEJBQ0sgRlJPTSBUSEUgVkVSTkUgQ0xVQi4gSEUgU0FZUyBUSEVZIEhBVkUgQSBCT09LIFRIQVQgVEFMS1MgQUJPVVQgVEhPU0UgREFNTiBDUkVFUFMgVEhBVCBLRUVQIENPTUlORyBBRlRFUiBNRS4gTkVFRCBTT01FIFdBWSBPRiBTVE9QUElORyBUSEVNLiBDQU4nVCBSVU4gRk9SRVZFUi4gSEVBRElORyBUTyBOQVJWQSwgVEhFTiBGSU5MQU5ELg==

Players decoded the message to:

"AGREED TO HELP THE SPANIARD GETTING SOMETHING BACK FROM THE VERNE CLUB. HE SAYS THEY HAVE A BOOK THAT TALKS ABOUT THOSE DAMN CREEPS THAT KEEP COMING AFTER ME. NEED SOME WAY OF STOPPING THEM. CAN'T RUN FOREVER. HEADING TO NARVA, THEN FINLAND."

The King in Yellow

Photo found by decoding the morse code tweeted by "Bishop"

On August 14, 2021, Bishop twitted the following: "Here's your damn proof", along with a video message encrypted in morse code.

- .. -. -.-- ..- .-. .-.. -..-. -.- .. -. --. .--. .-. --- --- ..-.

The decoded message yielded TINYURL/KINGPROOF, leading players to a photo of a page from an unknown copy of The King in Yellow. The woodblock print on the page Bishop shared showed a scribe holding up a quill in one hand while resting the severed head of a woman/child in his lap with the other. Next to the man, there is an unknown entity wearing a crown. The entity, which many players identified as being the actual "King in Yellow," emerges from a cloud of smoke and flames, as it presumably dictates notes to the scribe. Additionally, the face of the crowned entity, and the floating sign in the back, were covered with post-it notes, probably to avoid the book's infamous curse, which is said to drive readers to insanity.

Excerpt from Wikipedia

The King in Yellow is a book of short stories by the American writer Robert W. Chambers, first published by F. Tennyson Neely in 1895. The book is named after a play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories. The first half of the book features highly esteemed horror stories, and the book has been described by critics as a classic in the field of the supernatural.

There are ten stories, the first four of which ("The Repairer of Reputations", "The Mask", "In the Court of the Dragon", and "The Yellow Sign") mention The King in Yellow, a forbidden play which induces despair or madness in those who read it. The British first edition was published by Chatto & Windus in 1895 (316 pages).

When players examined the photo's EXIF data, they found it read "Artist: Jorge Munoz". Players deduced Jorge Munoz (probably a misspelling of "Muñoz") is the person who took the photo of the book (the ex-historian from Spain that Bishop spoke about in some of his Reddit posts.)

Players also noted that "The King in Yellow" could be referencing Hastur (The Unspeakable One, also known as "Him Who Is Not to be Named," "Assatur," "Xastur," "H'aaztre," or "Kaiwan"). Hastur is an entity from the "Cthulhu Mythos" of American writer H.P. Lovecraft since he appears mentioned as a possible member of the Society of Extraordinary Readers.